Rio de la Plata (Argentina) - Banks of the Rio de la Plata

Rio de la Plata (Argentina) - Banks of the Rio de la Plata

Solitary Island (Australia)

Solitary Island (Australia)

Port Botany (Australia)

Port Botany (Australia)

Introduction

Climate-induced pressure on coastal areas is resulting in a range of impacts, which include submergence and flooding, erosion, saltwater intrusion and the loss of wetlands. Meanwhile, human pressure is increasing as population along the coast is rising up to three times faster than the global means. The extent of potential impacts is significant but uncertain. Actual impacts will depend on the degree of change of various climate-related factors as well as on human response. Our research focuses on assessing the magnitude of climate-change induced impacts on coastal regions and on understanding how coastal systems respond to combined pressure from natural and anthropogenic effects. Particular emphasis is put on the ways in which sea-level rise, one of the more certain consequences of global warming, will exacerbate the impacts of coastal hazards and increase coastal vulnerability.

 

Methods

  • development and application of numerical models for studying the response of coastal regions to these forcings
  • scenario analysis
  • the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to explore spatial dimensions of the processes involved
  • utilisation of  remotely sensed data for the parameterisation of  numerical models and for monitoring coastal processes at various spatial scales (global to local)
  • extensive fieldwork for studying different coastal processes, supporting model development and the verification of model results

 

Current work

  • development of global coastal databases and typologies for impact and vulnerability analysis
  • studying the response of coastal wetlands to accelerated sea-level rise
  • understanding sediment resuspension due to ship-induced waves with the aim of improving management of ports
  • modelling coastal land-use change

 

 

Study areas include, among others, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea cost, the Mediterranean and coastal regions in South America and Australia. Detailed information regarding ongoing work can be found in the “Research Areas” and “Project” sections.